Everyone has ideas that are fundamental to their lives. But uncovering those basic assumptions is surprisingly difficult. We’re not always aware of our own assumptions. This little book gives you the tools you need to identify what’s important to you.
It starts with a time in my life when I was considering suicide. I wasn’t actively planning my demise but my thinking was seriously screwed up. Although I stupidly didn’t get help, I think what I’ve learned can be helpful to you. Here’s how the first chapter begins:
“I stood on the deck of a Seattle ferry, considering suicide. It was not an idle thought, but a desperate attempt to find a release from my trouble. I watched the dark waters below and calmly pondered the alternatives. My heart felt as cold as the steel rail I tightly grasped. It was night, inside and out. I was confused and all alone.
We had left Seattle a few minutes earlier and were about halfway across Puget Sound. It was raining lightly from heavy clouds that almost touched the water. The city’s lights flickered across the black waves, and I was lost in thought.
It would be so easy to end it all. So easy to slip unnoticed over the rail. They would all think that it was an accident. A slippery deck, a loss of balance. I wouldn’t even have to jump. Just let myself fall that direction. It would be easy. No one would know. Becky wouldn’t be burdened by me any more. She was still young and could remarry. Besides, she’d be better off; she’d get the insurance money; she’d be better off.
I would get freedom. I wouldn’t have to face those questions again. I’d escape the prying looks and condescending tones of friends, relatives and strangers. Relatives were the worst. Friends could be avoided and strangers ignored but I couldn’t get away from the relatives. Family gatherings, like the one to which I was headed, made it impossible for me to escape. I was stuck, and there was little I could do to defend myself.
No one understood. They didn’t realize that it wasn’t my fault. They blamed me for my trouble, when it was God’s fault. He had made me blind; He had made me an albino. It was God who had given my brother Down’s Syndrome, and had caused my father’s death.
Yet even if they had believed that, it wouldn’t have mattered. They weren’t saying anything I hadn;t already told myself. I blamed myself for it all. Life was out of control and I was at fault. Not for anything in particular; I was to blame for everything.
I felt very alone. It was as if everything was tumbling and there was no one there to protect me. I was in trouble; my thinking was fouled up. I had lost my emotional resillency and mental bounce. I had allowed the circumstances to rob me of my unalienable right to be happy.
I was not directionless; I had a goal I was trying to reach. I believed in my goal, was not afraid to work, and was determined to be a success. But there I stood at therail thinking of throwing it all away.
I wonder now how I could have been so stupid. It was not that I didn’t have reason to be thankful. I had a lovely wife who was very supportive and genuinely loving. I had the love of tfriends who cared and relatives who were eager to help. I had talents, training and past cuessess. Yet I was suffering from inflexible thinking, a maledy that causes much pain and most defeats. Sometimes things really are beyong our control but much more commonly our ideas defeat us.”
This book is for anyone on a journey of self-discovery. Ideas are the most powerful things in the world, so it’s important to discover which are worth keeping and which should be discarded. You’ll get practical techniques for discovering, assessing and prioritizing ideas about who we are, what we want and how we want to live. With easy to follow instructions, this workbook is full of exercises to increase self-knowledge, explore personal values, and discover one’s life passion. Afterall, we may or may not be what we eat but we certainly are what we think.
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